The Backbone of the Sanctuary
An essential element to the existence of the Sanctuary is our group of volunteers who are passionate about conservation and provide much-needed resource to all aspects of the Sanctuary.
There are several volunteer teams, from visitor centre hosts to fence maintenance, bird counting to track cutting, pest monitoring to administration. Our volunteers collectively putting in more than 20,000 hours a year.
We are always looking for more people: if you’re interested, have a look here.
The Trust employs a small, hard-working and skilled team.
Ru Collin is our Chief Executive. Ru was a Trustee of the Sanctuary for two years before stepping down to take on the role mid-2019.
Nick Robson is our Operations Manager, coordinating the volunteers’ and staffs’ efforts to maintain and develop the Sanctuary’s assets for everyone to enjoy.
Robert Schadewinkel is our Ecologist and takes care of protecting the Sanctuary against pest and predator threats. Robert is the primary response person when we have fence breaches and pest incursions to deal with, and is also our technical resource with species introduction plans.
Deborah McConochie is the Sanctuary’s business development associate and takes care of our valuable Brook Business Club members as well as identifying in-kind support, and all other fundraising activities. Deb also helps with business systems development. (Part time)
Murray Neill is our Field Operations Coordinator, responsible for fence security, training and coordinating specific projects as they arise. Involved in all aspects of the sanctuary operation, Murray is experienced in most aspects of conservation field work.
Nick Tilly is our Office Manager: accounts, business systems, and anything that needs doing come under his rather large hat. (Part time)
Rick Field is our tours’ host, enhancing understanding of the Sanctuary’s aims and wider conservation issues via education talks with schools and other groups interested in improving our environment. (Part time)
Kirsten Roedsgaard is the Visitor Centre and Volunteer Coordinator and you will meet her when visiting the sanctuary on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Kirsten is also the host of the bi-monthly Fresh FM radio show, Voices from the Brook, which airs on Wednesdays at 9.10 am.
Katie is one of our is our Visitor Centre and Volunteer Coordinators so you will see her friendly face at the Sanctuary during our busy season. When she is not in the Visitors Centre Katie volunteers at the Sanctuary doing track maintenance and biosecurity tasks.
Katie’s background is in education and outdoor instruction.
Hal is our Marketing and Communications Coordinator. He worked in arts management for many years, principally in theatres and art galleries. Marketing and communications was an integral part of these businesses.
Hal considers it a privilege to work at the Brook Waimārama Sanctuary as he has a firm commitment to caring for our environment.
Steffi is our Biosecurity Ranger. She is from Germany, where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Planning. She is fascinated with the flora and fauna in New Zealand and she is very excited to become a part of the Brook Waimārama Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary is administered by a charitable Trust with a board of nine volunteer Trustees.
Chris Hawkes (Chair) has enjoyed a busy management career, mainly in the agriculture and fast-moving consumer goods markets. For the last five years, Chris has been on the Board, and is now current Chair, of Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve. He became a BWST trustee and chair 2019.
Maurice Woodhouse (Treasurer) has had a long career in the accounting industry and was a founding partner of one of Nelson’s most respected accountancy firms, RWCA. Maurice became a BWST trustee in 2017.
Christine Hemi has served in leadership roles with Ngati Kuia, a recognised Nelson Region iwi, including as a current trustee. Chris represents Ngati Kuia on the BWST board and has been a Sanctuary Trustee since 2006.
Paul Russell is a civil engineer experienced in managing and administering construction contracts. He spent several years training project managers and has managed a large consulting office and mentored staff for more than ten years. Paul joined the Trust in 2014.
Debbie Armatage has a background that includes many years of marketing management as well as journalism and public relations management and is now a marketing consultant. A volunteer since 2017, Debbie became a Sanctuary Trustee in 2019.
Mike Elson Brown
Mike is a trust and estate practitioner, providing specialist advice in wills, trusts and powers of attorney. Mike joined the BWST as a Trustee in August 2016, stepped down in April 2019 and re-joined the Trust in September 2019.
Mike Glover is a professional director with considerable experience in corporate governance. Mike has an honours degree in law and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and became a Sanctuary Trustee in 2019.
After 25 years in the management team of a global packaging manufacturer in Auckland, Deryk returned to Nelson. He started volunteering with the Sanctuary six years ago and was involved in the completion and now maintenance of the bio security fence. Deryk represents his iwi, Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu and Te Ātiawa o te Waka a Māui on the Trust.
Paula has a PhD in Biology, and she is experienced in ecological and conservation research. She now works at the Cawthron Institute as an Ecologist – Data Scientist. She would like to see the Sanctuary as a place where the community is involved in and drives scientific discovery (citizen science). Paula became a Sanctuary Trustee in 2020.